Why do children reverse and transpose letters and words?

….because they can!

p140_letter-animals_smallOur highly visual children have no difficulty seeing objects from different angles. For instance they can picture a dog facing left, facing riIn most fonts b, d, p and q are exactly the same shapes. from the right, from on top and from underneath; fliping it around in seconds, in their mind’s eye. This is an exceptional visual skill, that maybe completely out of their conscious awareness. Someone who is less creative may struggle to achieve this.

When it comes to letters and words they just do the same;  b,d,p and q are all identical shapes in most fonts so they are easy to flip around.The more stressed they get trying to sort out a word the faster the letters are likely to flip. With practice they can flip whole words like saw and saw, no and on, etc and even start flipping letters in the middle of a word, all with the intention of trying to understand what they are reading.   The interesting thing is that if you ask a child to write in capitals flipping will not happen; B, D, P and Q are quite different.  So it is not that they don’t understand which letter to write it is that they have not got a still image in their mind’s eye to copy from.

The same thing can happen with numbers that get written backwards.

The Empowering Learning Jumpstartingliteracy and numeracy, can help you resolve this challenge is minutes.




About olivehickmott

I am a Forensic Learning coach, showing people how they can improve their own learning and change their health. Working with creative neurodivergent students is a joy, as they learn new skills to overcome many of their learning challenges.
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